02/25/2016 11:21 AM -
Whiting, Ind. – February 25, 2016 – The Northwest Indiana Oilmen have rounded out their three-headed catching monster with the addition of Jake Perreira.
Perreira, a freshman backstop at Division-II University of Indianapolis, joins Blake Cleveland (Central Michigan) and Zack Forney (Eastern Illinois) as Oilmen catchers this season.
“It’s relatively close to my house,” Perreira said. “It’s the closest collegiate team. I played in a fall league on the field. I’ve played high school games there. My coach knew (Oilmen manager Adam Enright) and was able to help me get a place on the team.”
Perreira graduated from Illinois’s Grant Park High School, where he spent three years after starting his prep career at Hanover Central.
“Driving 20 minutes to school wasn’t for me,” Perreira said. “I went to Grant Park from first through eighth grade. I had friends there and started missing my friends. Going back to Grant Park was a good decision for me.”
That decision led to great success, as Perreira was a two-time all-state honoree and notched River Valley Conference Player of the Year honors as a junior. That season help propel Perreira to the chance to extend his career at the college level.
“I started looking at school for physical therapy and it just happened that U Indy popped up,” Perreira said. “I gave them a call and came down to visit. I love the campus. It’s about two hours from my house. If I want to go home, I can do that. The facilities here are great. It had a good feeling to it.”
This season, Perreira is behind two fifth-year senior catchers, but he’s vying to establish himself as the Greyhounds’ catcher of the future.
“I’m hoping next year I take the starting spot,” Perreira said. “I’m learning from the two fifth-years how the team really works.”
The freshman catcher is confident in his ability behind the plate. He lists blocking, receiving and throwing as strengths of his game. However, he’s working to improve opposite-field power and driving the ball the other way.
“I think I’ve adjusted to college ball well so far,” he said. “Seeing live at-bats in the fall showed me how good pitching is going to be in Division-II. I think I’ve improved quite a bit catching-wise.”
One of the highlights of Perreira’s baseball career came this past summer while playing travel ball for the Chi-Town Cream. The team advanced to the playoff rounds for the first time in its eight-year history. In a game in Atlanta, Perreira caught with his friend on the mound for the first time, and the combination resulted in a no-hitter and significant win for the Cream.
Away from the diamond, Perreira enjoys hunting and fishing. In his spare time, he goes off-roading with his jeep.
Perreira will become the first University of Indianapolis player to wear an Oilmen uniform. Former Oilman Kenny Mahala did go on to play for Indianapolis after spending 2013 with the Oilmen. Perreira is college teammates with pitcher Jeff Lavin, who was on the Lexington Snipes team that eliminated the Oilmen for the 2015 MCL Playoffs.